Perry County pulls away from Tigers late
Sometimes good isn't good enough. Despite turning in a solid performance, the Marshall County Tigers suffered their fourth loss of the season on Friday night when they were defeated 63-54 by Class A power Perry County at the Richland Christmas Classic.
Although the Vikings advanced to the semifinals of the Class A State tournament last season and boasted an impressive 10-3 record coming into Friday's contest, the Tigers (9-4) got the better of Perry County early on and held a 27-24 lead at the break.
The Vikings, however, put their offense into overdrive in the second half and outscored MCHS 39-27 over the final two quarters to take home the nine-point victory.
Marshall County looked crisp on offense through the first three quarters and shot 47 percent (16-of-34) from the floor during that span, which included a 9-of-19 effort from beyond the arc.
The Tigers lost their shooting touch in the final period and made just 4-of-17 field goal attempts and 2-of-12 three-pointers to finish 20-of-51 from the floor overall.
MCHS committed only seven turnovers and held an 8-6 edge on the offensive glass, but Perry County outrebounded the Tigers 25-20 overall.
"We just ran out of steam at the end," said Marshall County coach Jason Tigert. "They did a good job of slowing down our transition game so we didn't get out and get some of those layups that we're accustomed too. We executed well in our half court offense, but we could have done better in some areas.
Kevin Peterson knocked down four treys and led three MCHS players in double figures with 18 points, while Brock Spencer and Barry Mayes tallied 11 and 10 points respectively with Mayes dishing out seven assists. Aaron Hobbs (eight points), Cameron Bowers (four points), and Corbin Clack (three points) rounded out the scoring for the Tigers. Freshman guard Chris Walker failed to score, but recorded seven assists, six rebounds, and three steals.
Despite hitting only 4-of-14 three-point attempts, the Vikings had great success in the paint and finished with 23 field goals on 53 percent shooting, while outscoring Marshall County 13-3 at the foul line and committing just eight turnovers.
Senior forward Jacob Tucker did the most damage for Perry County and poured in a game high 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Cannon Rhodes, Matt Gilboy, and Garrett Hill followed Tucker with 11, 10, and nine points respectively.
The Vikings inched out to an 8-5 lead late in the first quarter before the Tigers went on a 11-4 run behind five points from Spencer and four points from Peterson to claim a 16-12 advantage with 5:51 left in the second.
Tucker hit a layup and converted a three-point play to put Perry County up 17-16 midway through the second period, but MCHS rattled off eight straight points, highlighted by treys from Clack and Mayes, to grab a 24-17 lead with 2:50 left in the stanza.
After outscoring Marshall County 7-3 over the final two minutes of the second quarter to narrow the gap to 27-24 at halftime, the Vikings opened the third with a 20-9 spurt to seize a 44-36 advantage with 1:05 left in the period.
The Tigers trimmed the deficit to 44-42 at the end of the third quarter thanks to a trey by Mayes and a Hobbs three-point play before Perry County outscored MCHS 11-6 through the first 4:45 of the fourth to push their lead to 55-48.
Peterson buried a three to close the gap to 55-51, but the Vikings tallied the next seven points to forge a 62-51 advantage with :33 remaining en route to claiming the 63-54 victory.